Acupuncture for Infertility

acupuncture-for-infertility

In my conversations with readers and with other people “in real life,” I’m often asked if I’ve tried acupuncture for infertility. The answer is that I’ve been regularly going to acupuncture for almost two years. If I’m being honest, I don’t know if it has had any effect on my fertility, but I do know that it provides a level of relaxation, comfort, and rest that I haven’t been able to find elsewhere. I can also say that I have experienced headache relief and relief from other aches and pains.

In an effort to find out more about how acupuncture for infertility patients, I contacted three acupuncturists who specialize in fertility issues. I’m sure you’ll find their insight as interesting and enlightening as I did.

Here’s a brief introduction to the experts I interviewed:

Randine Lewis (RL), Ph.D, L.Ac. (pictured left), is the author of The Way of The Fertile Soul and The Infertility Cure: The Ancient Chinese Wellness Program for Getting Pregnant and Having Healthy Babies, and her work is regularly featured in the international media including on CBS The Early Show and in the Washington Post, The Economist, the Wall Street Journal Europe, the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Therapies, Elle magazine, Organic Style magazine, Pregnancy magazine and other publications.

Rikke Blessing (RB), MS, L.Ac. (pictured center), is the founder of Blessing Acupuncture in Monterey, California. She is a fellow of the American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine, and on the faculty at the Chinese medical college in Oakland, California, where she teaches Gynecology. She is fluent in English, Danish, and Mandarin Chinese, and has translated classical and modern Chinese texts about Traditional Chinese Medicine and its principles and philosophy. I once received a treatment from Rikke when my regular acupuncturist was unavailable and she was so lovely!

Angela Wu (AW), L.Ac, O.M.D (pictured right)  has over 30 years of experience in acupuncture, Chinese medicine, and herbology. She’s the founder of Wu’s Healing Center in San Francisco, California, and the author of the book, Fertility Wisdom: How Traditional Chinese Medicine can Help Overcome Infertility.

Q. How can acupuncture help patients with infertility?

RL: I do not view acupuncture as a modality unto itself that resolves infertility. It is a complex system that can realign certain physical aspects that have been blocking conception. Acupuncture by itself can harmonize hormones, improve implantation, and increase circulation to the reproductive hormones. But that in itself cannot bring about life. Acupuncture was intended to be part of a complex system of energetically uncovering imbalances – physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, lifestyle, relational, etc., to illuminate where one’s life was no longer in harmony with nature. When acupuncture is used without addressing the causes of the imbalance, I do not find it extremely effective at overcoming obstructions to the life force. Yet, when it can allow the individual to tap much deeper into ways into which her life has come out of harmony with her deepest nature, it can be an extremely effective tool. When I work with individuals now, I rarely perform acupuncture. I try to get them to discover their own inner obstructions and alleviate them – which is then curative. Otherwise I see it as a crutch.  [Read more…]

Our 3rd IVF Cycle: Week 1 Update

third ivf cycle

Today is Cycle Day 5 of my 3rd IVF cycle.  Things got off to a rough start last weekend while I was waiting for my period to arrive.  I’m not sure if it was anxiety about starting a new cycle, or withdrawal from the birth control pills, but I felt horrible.  I was moody, weepy, and super-irritable.  I had to cancel lunch plans with a good friend who was in town because I just couldn’t face leaving the house.  But as soon as my period started, I felt so much better.

I had my first blood draw and started stims on Monday.  Within an hour of taking my prednisone and heparin in the morning, I had a raging headache that lasted all day.  By the evening, I was noise-sensitive and light-sensitive.  I ended up going to bed super-early, feeling like I had been hit by a truck.  [Read more…]

On Being the “Strong One” During Infertility

Today’s post is a guest post from my husband, Tom.  He writes about being the “strong one” in our marriage during infertility.  

strong-during-infertility

The hardest thing I’ve dealt with during infertility is my own false expectations. This has shown up the most in my expectation of being the strong pillar in our marriage.

Iʼm the man. To me, that means I have to be the caretaker and stable member of our family during this difficult time, no matter how long it lasts. But I’ve realized that I am constantly shutting myself off from my emotions because I am afraid that my vulnerability would cause the world to crumble, both literally and figuratively.

There is no doubt and no denying that infertility has become the pivotal struggle in our lives. With that struggle comes incredible wins and losses, celebrations and struggles, and very hard realities. Yet, I consistently fool myself into thinking that my reactions must be rooted in stoicism, or better yet, extreme optimism in the face of what can be. Keeping up with that facade has cost me over the last two years, and I still battle with the mentality daily.  [Read more…]

Infertility Disappointment {Weekly Link Up #40}

I love this quote by the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  He said it in the context of the Civil Rights Movement, of course, but I think it also applies to the infertility disappointment we so often feel.

infertility disappointment

What do you think about this quote?  Please share your thoughts in the comments below or in a blog post in the link up.

Now onto the Link Up…

Here’s How It Works

  1. Use the blue “Click Here to Enter” link below to share your best infertility-related post from the last week or so. I’ve started things off by linking to my favorite post from this week
  2. Please remove any profanity from the title of your link-up submission.
  3. At the bottom of your post, please link back to my blog so others can find the link-up. You can use the button below, if you wish. A text link is fine, too.
  4. Please visit at least one other blog in the link-up and leave a comment there. This is so important because the goal of a link-up is to generate community!
AmateurNester



Six New Books to Read During Infertility

Each month I share some of the newly-published and soon-to-be-released books about infertility, family building, and related emotional, spiritual, or physical issues.  I haven’t read any of them yet, so I’m not necessarily recommending them, but just letting you know what’s newly available.  Please note that these links are affiliate links.

books about infertility [Read more…]